Twitter defends PM Shehbaz Sharif against Jimmy Fallon’s insensitive joke

Comedian made fun of Sharif for having a technical difficulty with his translation device on television

Entertainment Desk September 19, 2022

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s little struggle with headphones while setting up for an interview with Russian president Vladmir Putin amused comedian Jimmy Fallon so much that he included a video documenting the Pakistani premier’s fumbling on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

However, his “insensitive” and “bad taste” in humour did not sit well with social media users back in Pakistan and they called him out for his audacity to make fun of a political leader when he, an American, literally elected Donald Trump. Twitteratis also highlighted how a 70-year-old Pakistani man struggling with technology caught his attention but not the 33 million people affected by catastrophic floods in the country.

The said clip is from Sharif’s meeting with Putin on the sidelines of the 22nd Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation last week where after a few seconds of awkward messing up with equipment, the Pakistani premier called for a technical team to help fix his translation device while the latter waited patiently. However, just seconds after fixing it, the earphone fell down and an embarrassed Sharif tried to catch it on his lap.

Fallon picked the viral video on his show and quipped, "That guy is the leader of 220 million people.”

An infuriated tweep took a jibe at the comedian’s silence on a climate catastrophe and wrote, "Hey Jimmy Fallon, have you talked about the devastating floods destroying Pakistan? "A nation of 220 million people" is destroyed by climate change because of YOUR country's greed and wastefulness. If you haven't donated or raised funds for us, then you don't get to use us as a joke.”

Another found it hysterical laugh “tone deaf.” They tweeted, “It’s deeply offensive that Jimmy Fallon chose to mock 220 million people of Pakistan for a leader allegedly put in place after US-instigated regime change, while completely ignoring the suffering caused by devastating floods & climate change. Tone-deaf much?"

Of course, the conversation cannot happen without highlighting how Fallon’s behaviour stemmed from his “white supremacism.” Even natives who aren’t a fan of Sharif’s leadership came to his defense.

“I can't believe we have to tweet in support of Shehbaz Sharif to denounce Jimmy Fallon's white supremacism. I’m not a fan of Mr Shehbaz and his political career but as we do live in the 21st century and Jimmy darling, you should stop looking down upon your former colonies,” read a tweet.

Another pointed out how terrible the timing of the joke was. “It’s exceptionally callous and in bad taste, for Jimmy Fallon to mock the PM of a country which is suffering from the worst natural calamity in its history. A comedian is all about his timing and this joke just fell horribly flat. Use your massive platform to do better.”

Heavy on sarcasm, a social media user called Fallon “brave” to joke about another prime minister when he lived to see Trump’s regime. “Jimmy Fallon’s too brave to make fun of Shehbaz Sharif for someone whose president was literally Trump,” read the tweet.

Another user pointed out how “human” it was to be clumsy with a wire. “This can happen to anyone, it's just a human thing, you can only expect robots to be perfect. Jimmy Fallon really needs better content writers.”

For some, the joke drew a clear line between insult and humour.

“It’s ironic that those who elected Trump as their president have the audacity to troll Shehbaz Sharif. In all talk shows, technicians fix up the microphones of guests. It's technical work. He gracefully asked for help and there was nothing embarrassing in that clip, Jimmy,” read a tweet while another said they are “unfollowing everyone” on their timeline who thinks the “Shehbaz Sharif public shaming on the Jimmy Fallon show is funny.”

Concluding on a lighter note, the only thing that mattered for this user was Fallon making the joke. “Listen I don't care about Shehbaz Sharif or nationalism but if a man is going to make fun of my country it is NOT going to be JIMMY FALLON.”



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